Certain Songs #3: Aerosmith – “Sick As a Dog”

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Album: Rocks.
Year: 1976

I thought for a second when I started this project whether or not I was going to limit it to one song per artist. And almost instantly, Aerosmith made me realize how stupid and limiting that woulda been.

Cos it’s my long-held belief that Aerosmith’s Rocks is the greatest American hard rock (non-punk division) album of at least the 1970s, and quite possibly ever (give or take a Use Your Illusion II or Superunknown),so there was no way I was going to ignore the track from that record that has always killed me the most.

In the early 1980s, my friend Jim McNew had a theory that this album was a musical cousin to Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols because of the way both albums incorporated distortion into their basic sound, as well as how they would use the coda to take the song that much higher.

And “Sick As A Dog,” with its pleading verses, dirty guitars, insanely catchy chorus and amazing ending – said ending a stone reminder that handclaps always make a good song into a great song and a great song into a classic song – is the epitome of that theory.

More proof: during that coda as their guitars start to shred over said handclaps and Steven Tyler just gives up and says goodnight, either Whitford or Perry tosses in a recontextualized Chuck Berry lick in the same way Steve Jones would kick off Pistols songs with one.

It’s such a great song that even the otherwise abysmal Live Bootleg has a pretty good version.

“Sick As A Dog” on Spotify

My Certain Songs Playlist on Spotify

Every “Certain Song” Ever

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